Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2019

Credit David Cearley

Trend No. 1: Autonomous things


Whether it’s cars, robots or agriculture, autonomous things use AI to perform tasks traditionally done by humans. The sophistication of the intelligence varies, but all autonomous things use AI to interact more naturally with their environments.

Autonomous things exist across five types:

  • Robotics

  • Vehicles

  • Drones

  • Appliances

  • Agents


Trend No. 2: Augmented analytics


Augmented analytics represents a third major wave for data and analytics capabilities as data scientists use automated algorithms to explore more hypotheses. Data science and machine learning platforms have transformed how businesses generate analytics insight.

“By 2020, more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated”

Augmented analytics identify hidden patterns while removing the personal bias. Although businesses run the risk of unintentionally inserting bias into the algorithms, augmented analytics and automated insights will eventually be embedded into enterprise applications.


Trend No. 3: AI-driven development


This trend is evolving along three dimensions:


  • 1. The tools used to build AI-powered solutions are expanding from tools targeting data scientists (AI infrastructure, AI frameworks and AI platforms) to tools targeting the professional developer community (AI platforms, AI services). 

  • 2. The tools used to build AI-powered solutions are being empowered with AI-driven capabilities that assist professional developers and automate tasks related to the development of AI-enhanced solutions. 

  • 3. AI-enabled tools are evolving from assisting and automating functions related to application development (AD) to being enhanced with business domain expertise and automating activities higher on the AD process stack (from general development to business solution design).




Trend No. 4: Digital twins

A digital twin is a digital representation that mirrors a real-life object, process or system. The idea of a digital twin is not new. It goes back to computer-aided design representations of things or online profiles of customers, but today’s digital twins are different in four ways:

  • The robustness of the models, with a focus on how they support specific business outcomes

  • The link to the real world, potentially in real time for monitoring and control

  • The application of advanced big data analytics and AI to drive new business opportunities

  • The ability to interact with them and evaluate “what if” scenarios


Digital twins


Trend No. 5: Empowered edge


Edge computing is a topology where information processing and content collection and delivery are placed closer to the sources of the information, with the idea that keeping traffic local will reduce latency. Currently, much of the focus of this technology is a result of the need for IoT systems to deliver disconnected or distributed capabilities into the embedded IoT world. This type of topology will address challenges ranging from high WAN costs and unacceptable levels of latency. Further, it will enable the specifics of digital business and IT solutions.

“Technology and thinking will shift to a point where the experience will connect people with hundreds of edge devices”

Trend No. 6: Immersive technologies


Through 2028, conversational platforms, which change how users interact with the world, and technologies such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR), which change how users perceive the world, will lead to a new immersive experience.


By 2022, 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use, and 25% will have deployed to production. The future of conversational platforms, which range from virtual personal assistants to chatbots, will incorporate expanded sensory channels that will allow the platform to detect emotions based on facial expressions, and they will become more conversational in interactions.


Trend No. 7: Blockchain


Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, an expanding chronologically ordered list of cryptographically signed, irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants in a network. Blockchain allows companies to trace a transaction and work with untrusted parties without the need for a centralized party (i.e., a bank). This greatly reduces business friction and has applications that began in finance, but have expanded to government, healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain and others. Blockchain could potentially lower costs, reduce transaction settlement times and improve cash flow. The technology has also given way to a host of blockchain-inspired solutions that utilize some of the benefits and parts of blockchain.



Trend No. 8: Smart spaces


A smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems. As technology becomes a more integrated part of daily life, smart spaces will enter a period of accelerated delivery. Further, other trends such as AI-driven technology, edge computing, blockchain and digital twins are driving toward this trend as individual solutions become smart spaces.


Trend No. 9: Digital ethics and privacy


Consumers have an growing awareness of the value of their personal information, and they are increasingly concerned with how it’s being used by public and private entities. Enterprises that don’t pay attention are at risk of consumer backlash.


Governments are increasingly planning or passing regulations with which companies must be compliant, and consumers are carefully guarding or removing information about themselves. Companies must gain and maintain trust with the customer to succeed, and they must also follow internal values to ensure customers view them as trustworthy.


Trend No. 10: Quantum computing


Quantum computing is a type of nonclassical computing that is based on the quantum state of subatomic particles that represent information as elements denoted as quantum bits or “qubits.”

Quantum computers are an exponentially scalable and highly parallel computing model.  A way to imagine the difference between traditional and quantum computers is to imagine a giant library of books.

While a classic computer would read every book in a library in a linear fashion, a quantum computer would read all the books simultaneously. Quantum computers are able to theoretically work on millions of computations at once. Quantum computing in the form of a commercially available, affordable and reliable service would transform some industries. 

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